The Jets aren’t in need of a quarterback, but one of the most prolific passers in franchise history is assisting heralded Washington prospect Jake Locker.
Ken O’Brien, who called signals for the Green & White from 1984-92, is mentoring Locker as the draft nears.
“It’s going great,” Locker told newyorkjets.com today. “He’s an awesome guy. He knows what he’s talking about on the field. He’s very encouraging and is very smart in the game of football. He works with Athletes First, the agency I signed with. So I’ve had the opportunity to work with him now for a couple of months and it’s been a great experience for me.”
The 50-year-old O’Brien finished his career with the Eagles in 1993, but that was only after he threw for 124 scoring strikes and 24,386 yards with New York’s AFC representative. Kenny O’s best statistical season came in 1985 when he hit on 60.9 percent of his passes for 3,888 yards with 25 TDs and eight INTs. A talented pocket passer, O’Brien is helping the athletic Locker with his mechanics.
“A little fundamentals, shortening the stride and being consistent where the ball is coming out — the little things that make a big difference,” Locker said. “He’s been a pleasure to work with. He’s very encouraging and pushes me every day.”
There is another Locker connection to the Jets. Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian taught Mark Sanchez in college when he was Pete Carroll’s offensive coordinator at USC.
“We ran a lot of the same concepts they ran when Mark was at SC,” said Locker, a 6’3”, 230-pounder who threw for 17 TDs last season. “We were able to watch the film of that and kind of see how he had success in that offense. He was somebody who was on in our film room quite a bit.”
Ellard Hoping for the Trifecta
The Jets would like to re-sign their talented trio of unrestricted free agent wide receivers — Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith — and WR coach Henry Ellard would feel fortunate if that triple does occur.
“What they bring to the team is amazing — their playmaking ability,” he told newyorkjets.com. “Not only that, but the character, especially in a Brad Smith, who does a little bit of everything for us, sometimes you don’t appreciate that until it’s gone.
“To be able to get everybody back, I’ll tell you what, I would be a happy guy for sure because it makes my job coaching a lot easier.”
In his first 12 games as a Jet, Holmes caught 52 balls and scored six times in the regular season. Edwards benefited from his first full offseason with the Jets, averaging a team-high 17.1 yards a reception and also pacing the club with seven touchdowns.
“Being together for an extended period of time, you can’t help but get better,” Ellard said of the continuity. “Going through the games and the playoffs, you get better in all those situations. Mark has gotten a lot better from the experience.”
Smith caught a career-low four passes, but he was used frequently in the Seminole formation, rushing for a career-high 299 yards, and added two scores on kickoff returns.
“The guys just work hard. The more you do it, the more comfortable you are in the system so the more you react and start to make plays,” Ellard said.
“And Santonio is just special. Just watching him you can’t help but get excited.”
Tags: Jake Locker, Ken O'Brien, NFL Combine, Steve Sarkisian
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